2 Corinthians 7.1
Starting off with the passage from Paul in the context of his call to the Corinthian church to be pure, quoting a tapestry of scripture to “come out from their midst and be separate,” and “do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you,” for we are the temple of YHWH. Chapter 7.1 “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of YHWH.”
The whole concept of separation from the world, as Craig Randolph recently blogged, seems to me to be the same as holiness. Through out scripture we are told to live pure lives out of respect and love for God our savior. But what a queer message that is today. The message we are taught in modern Christianity is to get along with our neighbor at all costs, to walk a mile in his shoes, to bear his burden, and to never offend him by being different, and/or holier than thou. Talking about religion is strictly taboo, and to be seen with a Bible in your house, car, or hand is outrageous, pushy, and pretentious, (well maybe not in your house.)
The scriptures are clear about living a holy life and sin in a Christians life, we are called to “be Holy as your Father in heaven is Holy,” “perfecting holiness in the fear of YHWH.” Holiness has to do with our commitment to God. If we are completely committed we will most likely be very aware of sin creeping into our lives. Sin comes in primarily three categories, sins of commission, those are the things we do that are not pleasing to God, deliberate actions. Sins of omission, those are the things we should have done yet didn’t, because we were indifferent, faithless, lazy, etc. The last is, sins of our thought life. Not to be confused with a passing temptation, as all sin starts with a thought, it’s what we do with that thought. Do we act on it, or do we harbor it, relishing the very concept of it, or do we discard it. Jesus in Matt. 5.28 describes the thought life, Prov. 24.9 warns of foolish thought, Duet. 15.9 tells of base thoughts, Matt. 9.4 says Jesus knew their evil thoughts, James 1.14 reveals each one is tempted when carried away by his own lust.
If we truly want to live holy lives, we will be aware of, and concerned with sin in our lives. I John 1.9 tells us that we can confess our sins and Jesus will be faithful to forgive us. I Cor. 11.28 “But let a man examine himself…”As we live holy lives we will find that we are naturally separate from the world, and they, the world, will take note of it. At least that has been the case in my life. Not that I am saying I live more holy than you, but people do notice when Christ is in you. Weekly confession, though very appropriate in our services at 1st Pres., is not often enough in my opinion, but daily examination and confession. I know my wife would not be appeased with a weekly apology of my dastardly life style and offenses committed against her, so I believe it is with our Father in heaven.
This is supposed to be a blog, not a book, or even a remotely complete thought on holiness. It is not an accusation against anyone, or group, but merely a reminder to us of truth we already know. Let us live our lives in holiness and by every means attempt to be pleasing to God in all that we do and say. Amen